Frequently Asked Questions

What is the World Justice Project?

The World Justice Project is an independent, multidsciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law around the world. The rule of law provides the foundation for communities of opportunity and equity – communities that offer sustainable economic development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights.

How does the World Justice Project define the rule of law?

The rule of law is a system of rules and rights that enables fair and functioning societies. The World Justice Project defines this system as one in which the following four universal principles are upheld:

  1. The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law.
  2. The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
  3. The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair,and efficient.
  4. Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

These four universal principles which comprise the WJP's notion of the rule of law are further developed in the nine factors of the WJP Rule of Law Index.

Why is the rule of law important?

The rule of law affects all aspects of life: it means knowing that police can be trusted to fairly enforce the law; it means that environmental and human safety regulations are adhered to rather than ignored with impunity. It means that impartial courts—not courts acting on behalf of the highest bidder—are available to settle disputes.

Furthermore, rule of law means that education is available to all; that there is no discrimination based on race, sex or income level; that corruption in government and business is not allowed; and that bridges and roads will not fall apart for lack of compliance with building codes.

I'm not a lawyer or a judge, why should the rule of law matter to me?

The WJP works to make rule of law advancement as fundamental to the thinking and work of all professionals as it is to lawyers. Our activities engage professionals from a variety of disciplines—such business leaders, educators, environmentalists, faith leaders, journalists, public health workers, and social workers as well as lawyers, prosecutors, police officers, and judges—in multidisciplinary collaboration to strengthen the rule of law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity.

What is the WJP Rule of Law Index?

The WJP Rule of Law Index® is an assessment tool designed by the World Justice Project to offer a detailed and comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice. The Index provides detailed information and original data regarding a variety of dimensions of the rule of law, which enables stakeholders to assess a nation’s adherence to the rule of law in practice, identify a nation’s strengths and weaknesses in comparison to similarly situated countries, and track changes over time. It is the first index to cover the rule of law comprehensively.

What is the World Justice Challenge?

The WJP’s World Justice Challenge was established in order to support the action-oriented programs conceived by the multidisciplinary coalitions formed at WJP events. The WJC provides seed grants to projects which are characterized by their best practices and innovative methods to strengthen the rule of law worldwide. Implementers are working on a variety of rule of law initiatives—from advancing gender equity in Africa to combatting environmental degradation corruption in Asia—across the globe.

Why the emphasis on different disciplines?

The World Justice Project is engaging a variety of disciplines as collaborators to strengthen the rule of law around the world. In so doing, the World Justice Project seeks to make the rule of law as fundamental to the thinking and actions of these disciplines as it is to lawyers.

How is the World Justice Project funded?

The World Justice Project is funded by foundations, professional firms, corporations, and individual donors. View a complete list of WJP financial supporters.

How can I become involved with the World Justice Project?

The World Justice Project is constantly looking for new partners, both at the individual and institutional level, to join our mission to advance the rule of law worldwide. All aspects of our work are dependent upon the collaboration of different stakeholders. Should you wish to learn more about our mission, our events, and/or possibilities for partnership, please email us at wjp@wjpnet.org.

How can I support the World Justice Project?

The World Justice Project welcomes the support of new donors and volunteers. It is with the generous support of our donors and supporters that the World Justice Project is able to stimulate the fundamental change needed to strengthen the rule of law around the world. Donations can be made online at our website www.worldjusticeproject.org/donate or by sending a check to our Washintong D.C. office.